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  1. #1
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    What is 'Lifting For Aesthetics?'

    I've recently seen some talk on these boards about people who just want to 'lift for aesthetics.'

    I'd honestly like to know what the difference is between lifting for aesthetics and lifting to get bigger as in bodybuilding purposes.

    In all seriousness, the phrase 'lifting for aesthetics' sounds like some serious broscience terminology.
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  2. #2
    Registered User tech99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 2020Wellness View Post
    I've recently seen some talk on these boards about people who just want to 'lift for aesthetics.'

    I'd honestly like to know what the difference is between lifting for aesthetics and lifting to get bigger as in bodybuilding purposes.

    In all seriousness, the phrase 'lifting for aesthetics' sounds like some serious broscience terminology.
    a balanced and symmetrical physique. basically sculpting your body to look a certain way that is pleasing to the eye. for example zyzz said he didnt do any direct ab work because bulky abs dont look aesthetic.
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  3. #3
    O.G. (Original Guido) Jasonk282's Avatar
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    I guess it's people that don't want to 'get to bulky" and want to be "lean like zzyz". These people rather worry about why their arms are small and not 18in pythins while they're benching 135lbs.
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  4. #4
    Registered User bgb1990's Avatar
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    think of it as bodybuilding vs. power lifting. body builders lift to look good. powerlifters lift to be strong and use their muscles. in short, it pretty much is just broscience because if youre lifting to look good, you are bound to get larger and stronger as well.
    "ain't nobody wanna lift this heavy ass weight. Hell I do!" - Ronnie Coleman
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  5. #5
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tech99 View Post
    a balanced and symmetrical physique. basically sculpting your body to look a certain way that is pleasing to the eye. for example zyzz said he didnt do any direct ab work because bulky abs dont look aesthetic.
    Bodybuilding is about a balanced and symmetrical physique though in the first place. Training abs doesn't make them bulky. You're going to tell me that all the fitness models and such don't train their abs?

    My point is that training for aesthetics is just training normally.
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  6. #6
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bgb1990 View Post
    think of it as bodybuilding vs. power lifting. body builders lift to look good. powerlifters lift to be strong and use their muscles. in short, it pretty much is just broscience because if youre lifting to look good, you are bound to get larger and stronger as well.
    Most of the guys that are viewed as aesthetic are usually pretty big in the first place, just lean. It's a complete broscience term. To be aesthetic, you need size, so you need to train with the goal of getting bigger as a priority. That's the same training as any other bodybuilder.
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  7. #7
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    Training for "aesthetics" is just a way for people to justify not doing squats and deadlifts. Also a justification for being a pussy.
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  8. #8
    Arm of Fisting Retoaded's Avatar
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    I think they mean the same thing except its said in misc dialect.
    O35 and enjoying life.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Filmbuff81's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Retoaded View Post
    I think they mean the same thing except its said in misc dialect.
    ^^^^this
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  10. #10
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Marcusgs View Post
    Training for "aesthetics" is just a way for people to justify not doing squats and deadlifts. Also a justification for being a pussy.
    I'm thinking you're pretty much spot on.

    If training for aesthetics was a type of jean, it'd be male skinny jeans.
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  11. #11
    O.G. (Original Guido) Jasonk282's Avatar
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    If you have a balance program with progressive overloading and a good diet...you'll get aesthetics, size and strength. weight training is not as complicated as people make it out to be.
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by 2020Wellness View Post
    I've recently seen some talk on these boards about people who just want to 'lift for aesthetics.'

    I'd honestly like to know what the difference is between lifting for aesthetics and lifting to get bigger as in bodybuilding purposes.

    In all seriousness, the phrase 'lifting for aesthetics' sounds like some serious broscience terminology.
    Ima model, I get fit and workout for aesthetics because the whole point is lookin good you know?
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by 2020Wellness View Post
    I've recently seen some talk on these boards about people who just want to 'lift for aesthetics.'
    From what I see in this forum, the posters who use that term all look alike--some abs, and that's about it. Never seen a single one of them show his legs.

    Past that, I usually pay 'em no mind, and just move on.
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  14. #14
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RodSmooth View Post
    Ima model, I get fit and workout for aesthetics because the whole point is lookin good you know?
    My question for you; how does your training differ from training to get bigger? Do you do a special aesthetics program?
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  15. #15
    ╭∩╮(︶︿︶)╭∩╮ acrawlingchaos's Avatar
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    As far as I know when someone states they train for aesthetics vs strength, they are referring to the focus. Training for absolute strength in terms of say powerlifting, Oly lifting or gymnastics may take a different approach to someone who may be interested in entering a bodybuilding competition.
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  16. #16
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    Originally Posted by 2020Wellness View Post
    My question for you; how does your training differ from training to get bigger? Do you do a special aesthetics program?
    Nope just strictly calisthenics, for slow lean gains. Also as bf% is universal key to modeling so as soon as I feel like I'm above 10% bodyfat I do lots of cardio to get back to 7-9% bf. It's bassically about to become my full time job so I knw I have to keep my looks up. Not quite getting at what your asking though... Never lifted a weight btw.
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  17. #17
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    i think they mean training in a way that results in more sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.

    Most powerlifters, people who compete in strongmen competitions, and Olympic lifters are not considered aesthetically pleasing.

    powerlifters tend not to focus on some of the aesthetically pleasing muscle groups that bodybuilders do, such as biceps for example.

    take any popular powerlifter and compare them to a bodybuilder. more often than not ur going to find that the powerlifter is much stronger than the body builder but their muscles lack the mass and definition that the bodybuilder's muscles have. yes a part of this difference will be diet but another part of it will be training.

    someone who trains there arms with a lower rep range and less frequency from more "angles" than a different person will have less aesthetically pleasing arms than the one who works them directly with more volume and higher reps typically.

    i think that's what ppl mean when they say training for aesthetics, i think they just have trouble expressing it.

    this was done from my android btw...grammar sux ik.

    that's my. 02
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by tech99 View Post
    a balanced and symmetrical physique. basically sculpting your body to look a certain way that is pleasing to the eye. for example zyzz said he didnt do any direct ab work because bulky abs dont look aesthetic.
    This. I don't workout much but the little bit of working out I do is a lot of pullups and muscle ups, which hit abs naturally.
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  19. #19
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Sounds like everyone has their own definition of lifting for aesthetics. I know one thing, forgetting about weights is certainly wrong if you're trying to build a sought after physique with muscle.
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  20. #20
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    I lift thing up and put them down...then add more weight and do it again the heavier the better...meh. I personally don't care about my abs or whatever else. I got a wife, a kid and one on the way..rather be strong as fcuk.

    That's just me though.
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  21. #21
    Registered User Marcusgs's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Marcusgs View Post
    Training for "aesthetics" is just a way for people to justify not doing squats and deadlifts. Also a justification for being a pussy.
    Haha negged for this by someone who "trains for aesthetics"
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  22. #22
    Not even my final form NZninja101's Avatar
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    Here's the way I see it.


    Its a pretty flawed philosophy for naturals, at least in my opinion of what might be seen as too big. 'Aesthetics' seems to be characterized as being lean whilst having somewhat large muscles, like 210 pounds at 8% body fat at 6 foot 1. Considering that basically nobody will surpass this naturally it would seem redundant for a natural to focus training to look like Zyzz rather than Arnold Schwarzenegger because the notion that he could accidentally get too big is unfounded. Training for size would ultimately lead to aesthetics.


    To me the idea of training for aesthetics also involves purposely not making some muscles as large as they could possibly be in the pursuit of a better physique, (which on the face of it sounds pretty redundant but IMO it has some authority.) This might involve purposely not training traps directly so as they don't overpower your shoulders and make you look narrow, or not training your front delts directly so they don't overwhelm your side and rear delts, not training obliques directly, or even focusing on incline pressing more than flat pressing, which might prevent you from building as much muscle mass overall on your chest but shapes it in a way that could be seen as more aesthetically pleasing.
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  23. #23
    Author/Trainer 2020Wellness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by NZninja101 View Post
    Here's the way I see it.


    Its a pretty flawed philosophy for naturals, at least in my opinion of what might be seen as too big. 'Aesthetics' seems to be characterized as being lean whilst having somewhat large muscles, like 210 pounds at 8% body fat at 6 foot 1. Considering that basically nobody will surpass this naturally it would seem redundant for a natural to focus training to look like Zyzz rather than Arnold Schwarzenegger because the notion that he could accidentally get too big is unfounded. Training for size would ultimately lead to aesthetics.
    So right in your thinking. I agree with everything!


    To me the idea of training for aesthetics also involves purposely not making some muscles as large as they could possibly be in the pursuit of a better physique, (which on the face of it sounds pretty redundant but IMO it has some authority.) This might involve purposely not training traps directly so as they don't overpower your shoulders and make you look narrow, or not training your front delts directly so they don't overwhelm your side and rear delts, not training obliques directly, or even focusing on incline pressing more than flat pressing, which might prevent you from building as much muscle mass overall on your chest but shapes it in a way that could be seen as more aesthetically pleasing.
    The problem is that these people who are claiming to 'train for aesthetics' aren't to the point where anything is going to overpower anything. If they sit there and focus on little details like that, they'll be wasting a lot of time. Those details are for the highly experienced trainee, not for the 18 year old 'training for aesthetics.'
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  24. #24
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    I just read a thread with some people advising a guy who is 6'1" and 160 pounds on how to cut. Its those people.
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    I was gonna say the same thing as above, but you already covered it OP/TC. Basically if you are lifting doing a standard progressive bodybuilding routine you will build muscle, add some cardio in and you will lose fat and build muscle. Complete the trifecta by having a perfect diet and WILL get "aesthetic" or I'll be damned. Going by this little term, they would assume that people like Gregg Plitt and Ulissus Jr. aren't supposedly" aesthetic" because both them work out their abs and do flat/decline bench etc. And they are considered two of the best looking models in the WORLD(not just America). The whole "aesthetics" movement is so flawed it's ridiculous.
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  26. #26
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    Originally Posted by 2020Wellness View Post
    I'd honestly like to know what the difference is between lifting for aesthetics and lifting to get bigger as in bodybuilding purposes.
    I wasn't aware there was a difference between body building and "lifting for aesthetics".
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    I think we're all just confused. Training for Bodybuilding and Aesthetics are the same thing. Maybe there's a difference, but if there is, no one can come up with an operational definition. Therefor, the distinction doesn't exist in my mind.
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  28. #28
    Registered User Sinaku5's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by NZninja101 View Post
    Here's the way I see it.


    Its a pretty flawed philosophy for naturals, at least in my opinion of what might be seen as too big. 'Aesthetics' seems to be characterized as being lean whilst having somewhat large muscles, like 210 pounds at 8% body fat at 6 foot 1. Considering that basically nobody will surpass this naturally it would seem redundant for a natural to focus training to look like Zyzz rather than Arnold Schwarzenegger because the notion that he could accidentally get too big is unfounded. Training for size would ultimately lead to aesthetics.


    To me the idea of training for aesthetics also involves purposely not making some muscles as large as they could possibly be in the pursuit of a better physique, (which on the face of it sounds pretty redundant but IMO it has some authority.) This might involve purposely not training traps directly so as they don't overpower your shoulders and make you look narrow, or not training your front delts directly so they don't overwhelm your side and rear delts, not training obliques directly, or even focusing on incline pressing more than flat pressing, which might prevent you from building as much muscle mass overall on your chest but shapes it in a way that could be seen as more aesthetically pleasing.
    this. great post.

    i guess my post was more in relation to different training types. i didn't realize that the question was in regards to the difference between bodybuilding and training for aesthetics. i thought it was more bout the difference of lifting weights (which can be powerlifters or oly lifting for example) and training for aesthetics
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  29. #29
    Not even my final form NZninja101's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 2020Wellness View Post
    The problem is that these people who are claiming to 'train for aesthetics' aren't to the point where anything is going to overpower anything. If they sit there and focus on little details like that, they'll be wasting a lot of time. Those details are for the highly experienced trainee, not for the 18 year old 'training for aesthetics.'.
    Yeah I see what you mean. But I think on the other hand it might be seen as unnecessary for novices to focus on front delt isolation, direct oblique work, or direct trap work anyway, (this is a lot more subjective and dependent on the individual) so the result in the style of training may be the same as a novice training for 'aesthetics' but for a different reason.

    To me it feels like the increase in interest in a physique that looks healthy and strong over the the modern bodybuilding industry with 280 pounders that look like turtles. But the reasoning and application of this can be a little silly.
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  30. #30
    O.G. (Original Guido) Jasonk282's Avatar
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    I think some of it comes from skinny fat people who are around 140-160 with no muscle mass want to stay that weight but be ripped. Not knowing that the guy that's 160 with 10% BF has a much stronger strength base and in all likely hood bulked up to 180-190 before cutting.

    Some want the look without doing the hard work thinking that if they hit their delts from all side with 20lbs weights they'll get cannon ball delts when in reality they just need to get stronger at the OHP in the first place.
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